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Much verbiage has been expended in connection with the problems that beset the average adolescent in the course of that nebulous period known as the "transition from school to college." For some, the adjustments that are necessary during the freshman year present no difficulties; but for the majority the realization that an entirely new set of values has to be accepted, a new set of social relationships successfully encountered, demands a disproportionate amount of concentration and effort. At Harvard there are a number of individuals, or groups of them, that, working generally behind the scenes, provide help and advice for those who need them.
Dr. Bock is one of the most important of these: very many students with problems that need straightening out go to him; the Deans in charge of Freshmen do invaluable work. And in the tutoring schools on the square, and even in some of the stores, are people whose advice helps many a harassed youth find himself. However, this delicate matter of helping young men through a difficult period should properly be left in the hand of the college of which the young men are members. The adviser system, in spite of attempts to improve it, is still a ghastly failure. With this in view, Phillips Brooks House is nurturing in the collective mind of its undergraduate and graduate boards an idea which it is to be hoped will soon become a reality.
The plan involves the sum of approximately three thousand dollars, to be paid to an official "father-confessor" to anyone who finds himself so beset by problems of any and all kinds, that he is beginning to see very little future in continuing to fight the good fight. This man might have an official position, but his work would naturally be confidential. The ideal man for the job would be one who knew the ins and outs of college life from personal experience; who would give sane advice on anything from religious problems to whether taking a girl to the Yale game means immediate matrimony. The job would be a full-time one, and a really capable man would certainly be a valuable addition to the Harvard community.
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